Boris Johnson has backed proposals to build a cycle route along the entire 120-mile route of the HS2 line from Birmingham to London.
The Mayor of London threw his support behind the project, which is being considered by the Department for Transport.
A feasibility study into a cycle path broadly following the HS2 route is looking at how existing paths or cycle tracks could be linked or upgraded.
Mr Johnson called on the rest of the UK to follow London’s lead in planning safe cycle routes and said the controversial rail project was an ideal opportunity.
“We should turn Britain into a great, great cycling country and we should be investing,” Mr Johnson told The Times.
“Is there a cycle track up the side of HS2? If not, why not? If we’re going to have this thing, let’s at least have a beautiful new cycling superhighway all the way up from London to Birmingham.
“Why not do it? I think there should be a national network of major cycle routes.”
Mr Johnson said any such scheme would “generate thousands of jobs” and cut down on traffic congestion in the areas it passed through.
The Government last year launched a nationwide drive to promote cycling in cities and national parks across England.
A total of £77 million was pledged for Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford and Norwich. And the New Forest, Peak District, South Downs and Dartmoor were to share a slice of £17 million funding for national parks.
Announcing the investment, PM David Cameron said: “Following our success in the Olympics, Paralympics and the Tour de France, British cycling is riding high. Now we want to see cycling soar.
“Our athletes are among the best in the world and we want to build on that, taking our cycling success beyond the arena and onto the roads, starting a cycling revolution which will remove the barriers for a new generation of cyclists. This government wants to make it easier and safer for people who already cycle as well as encouraging far more people to take it up.”